Money-Saving Tips You Can Do At Home Right Away
Change your habits to save energy in every room in the house – and help cut your energy bills. To get you started, just read on.
- Turn it down.
Maybe you are not aware that your central heating is set higher than you need it, so try turning your room thermostat down by one degree. Leave it for a day and if you still feel warm enough, try turning it down another degree. Carry on until it feels a bit too cool and then turn it back up one degree. Every degree that you turn it down could mean compounded savings in a year on your heating bill.
- Turn it off.
When you are not using your lights, make sure you turn it off. The same thing goes for your appliances and chargers. If you turn a light off for even a few seconds, you will save more energy than it takes the light to start up again, no matter what sort of lights you have. And nearly all electrical and electronic appliances can safely be turned off at the plug without upsetting their systems – the only exceptions are satellite and digital TV recorders which should be left plugged in so they can keep track of any programmes you want to record – but check the instructions on any appliances you aren’t sure about.
- Use a power strip to power down unused electronics.
Electronics continue to use power even when they are turned off for LED displays, stop/start memory, etc. Reduce this “phantom power” drain by unplugging devices, or plugging them into a central power strip which can be powered down with the flip of a switch. You can find amazon deals on power strips.
- Be conscious how you do chores.
You can save money just by being careful how you use your kitchen appliances. For example, set your washing machine to wash at 30°C. Only use your tumble dryer when you can’t dry your clothes outside. Don’t fill your kettle right up every time – just boil the amount of water you need.
Keeping your drawers, cupboards and fridge in order is an easy way to keep track of what you have in the house, and therefore what you don’t need to replace on your next shopping trip. Doubling-up on things that have been lurking in the back of the pantry or veggie crisper is a sure-fire way to waste food and increase your grocery bill. Plan meals around what you already have in the kitchen and only buy what you need.
- Opt for a water-efficient shower head.
If you’ve got a shower that takes hot water straight from your boiler or hot water tank (rather than an electric shower) then it is time to switch to a water-efficient shower head to cut your hot water use. You won’t notice any difference when you shower.
- Fill in the gaps.
Unless your home is very new, you’re likely to be losing some heat through draughts around doors and windows, gaps around the floor, maybe up a chimney or two, and a whole host of other little holes around the house. So why not buy some proper draught-proofing products for the doors and windows, seal your skirting boards with silicone sealant, and fit chimney draught excluder or sealed fire guards?
- Go for low-energy lights.
You can now get LED spotlights that are bright enough to replace halogens, as well as regular energy saving bulbs (‘compact fluorescent lamps’ or CFLs) for pretty much everything else. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes and fittings. Look for the Energy Saving Trust Recommended logo to be assured of light quality and lifetime.
- Keep your freezer full.
An empty freezer requires more energy to keep cold. If you don’t have anything to put in your freezer, fill up milk jugs with water and pack them in your freezer to take up space.
- Wrap your water heater.
If your hot-water bill gets you all steamed up, you might want to check the age of your water heater. Newer ones have plenty of insulation, but electric ones built before 2004 could use a little help. So wrap it up in an insulating jacket and you could save around $30 a year.
- Get to know your slow cooker.
You’re aspiring for a hearty meal, but you have neither the time nor the money to really pull it off. That’s where the slow cooker comes in. It is way more energy-efficient than your oven, which means it costs less to operate and your energy bill will go down. Added savings: A slow cooker turns tougher cuts of meat into mouth-watering eats, so you can go a little cheap on the beef and save at the grocery store too.
- Get every last drop.
Get every last drop out of citrus fruits. Roll a lemon, or other citrus fruits, with your hands, back and forth on the worktop surface before squeezing it and you will get more juice. You can also heat the lemon to get more juice, but that means paying for the heat, so warm the lemon and yourself with the exercise - it's free.
- Extend the life of your safety razors.
Dull blades are the result of imperfections in your blade. Water causes your blades to corrode, and consequently creates imperfections. So keep your blades dry. But a neat little hack to sharpen those blades up is to do to your disposable razors what you do with your straight razor: hone them. If you don’t have a leather strop handy, just use your forearm. Rub your razor on your forearm in the non-cutting direction for about 10 strokes. Disposable razor stropped and ready to go.
- Use a drying rack or line dry heavy clothing.
Pick up a drying rack or install a clothesline to dry heavy garments and towels. When nearly dry, place items in dryer with a dryer sheet for just a few minutes to complete the drying cycle, remove wrinkles, and soften clothes.
You don’t need to go as far as hanging old newspapers over the toilet roll, but there are significant savings to be had by re-using things around the house that would otherwise be destined for the garbage. Takeaway food containers are great for lunches and save on disposable cling wraps, foils and baking paper, while old envelopes are note-worthy for jotting down lists. Old t-shirts work wonders as cleaning rags, and cost nothing.
Add them all together and – well, you can’t really add them all together, because very few houses could do all of these, and some of them overlap a little, but a great many households could save between hundreds of dollars a year while spending less than that to fit everything in the first year. Remember that the savings you can achieve will depend on what you’re currently doing, and how many changes you choose to make.